What Went Wrong With… Benedict Cumberbatch & TV Actors?

Caricature of Benedict Cumberbatch by What Went Wrong With...? for

Benedict Cumberbatch is living proof that movie casting has gone completely skew-whiff in recent years. Benedict who is famous for his uppity and over-the-top portrayal of Sherlock, seems completely at home on television; where everybody and everything is distinctly average. Transpose him to film however, and you realise how anodyne his acting really is.

Cumberbatch is part of a new wave of dull TV Actors who are admired and ogled over as if they were Daniel Day-Lewis, but for all intents and purposes they may as well be Daniel Baldwin. Even though TV Actors such as Jeremy Irons have in the past made the transition to Film quite successfully, contemporary moves toward cinema such as that of Martin Freeman have been underwhelming to say the least; and with the likes of Chris O’Dowd this move to the “big-time” is getting preposterous. In Benedict Cumberbatch’s case it’s like watching him play the character of Sherlock over and over again on the big screen. I mean c’mon, it’s a huge leap from Heartbeat to Hollywood, and the only thing memorable about Cumberbatch is his Roald Dahl-esque name which sounds more like a pompous Organic Farmer than an A-List Actor.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike the bloke on a personal level; he’s done nothing wrong (as far as I know). He sticks up for gay rights, he apparently joined an anti-war protest, but populist causes are things which numerous people of the world stick-up for, and when it comes to Benedict Cumberbatch, proving that he has a spine doesn’t detract from his lack of charisma.

Cumberbatch is probably the only celebrity who is indistinguishable from their waxwork at Madame Tussauds, and if he were to be replaced by his statue, I don’t think anybody would notice. Benedict’s complete lack of star quality is evident in every role he plays, and apart from the tone or tempo change of his voice, it’s like watching Benedict Cumberbatch playing Benedict Cumberbatch; only in costume. Period Drama, Sci-Fi, Comedy, no matter the genre, as an audience member you cannot get over his straight-faced glare or his pole-in-keister stance. Oh look; it’s Cumbebatch doing an American accent, blinking a lot and hanging his lower jaw. Oh my God; it’s Cumberbatch again, wearing hair gel and white-washing the character “Khan Noonien Singh”. One thing’s for certain, with his annoyingly smarmy expression and wonky smirk, and with a face that looks like a cross between a Human and an Extraterrestrial Grey; it’s hard to see past the contrivances of Benedict Cumberbatch rather than the character he’s playing.

There are many great Actors out there, even TV Actors. But it seems that the media loves promoting only a handful in order to inflate their worth and increase the industry’s control of them. Every time I see Cumberbatch in a film, I cannot help but think that yet another role has been robbed from James D’Arcy. The way this trend for blandness is going, I wouldn’t be surprised if every crappy Actor from British TV makes it into at least one big-budget blockbuster. I mean what’s next; casting Doctor Who’s Matt Smith in a Terminator Sequel?

A Bad Batch.



Read the related article - What Went Right With... James D'Arcy?

What Went Right With… James D’Arcy?


9 replies »

  1. I agree – outrageous – Another role ROBBED from$ James D’Aracy. D’arcy is the original – the better and best!! Does anyone remember Tinker. Tailor Spy – Cloud Atlas – jesus -. Who jas the pictures reversed and has been accidently booking Cumberbath for jobs meant for James D’aracy. Please fix it!!!!

    • Exactly, he even played Sherlock Holmes before Cumberbatch too. He is definitely the better actor of the two, he was impressive in “Cloud Atlas” and even in a mediocre film such as “In Their Skin” he gave a great performance.

      Unfortunately this is becoming a trend of contemporary entertainment; the talented are replaced by the fake.

  2. This is an interesting and entertaining post. I haven’t actually seen enough of Cumberbatch’s work to make a fair assessment of his acting skills, but I have been surprised to note how quickly his Hollywood career seems to be accelerating, what with his 2015 Oscar nomination and all. My guess is that he has industry connections that have given him a leg up over some of his lesser-known and perhaps even more talented peers. I would also surmise that he wants a big Hollywood career, which many excellent actors do not. It doesn’t make the latter any less ambitious, just unwilling to pawn themselves in an industry that can at the same time be as lucrative as it can be compromising.

    • Get your cock off the “N” key, you lame Cumberbitch.

      Not only is your comment not funny, it doesn’t make any sense. And ironically your reply was your opinion; so by your own logic that would make you an “asshole” too, you dumb prolapsed anus.

      I guess opinions are like assholes; and I really didn’t need to see yours.

  3. Be fair, Khan Noonien Singh had already been Latino-washed. There’s no way that’s a Mexican name, as fantastic as Ricardo Montalbán was. Although for the most part I do agree with your article, James D’Arcy is fantastic, and even as Edwin Jarvis he’s like Cumberbatch but without the smarminess.

  4. Aside from Benedict Cumberbatch alone, what did you think of the BBC TV series, Sherlock, as a whole? There’s even a video essay describing how great as a series it was based on how the series’ way of filming thoughts through clever editing… Here’s the link:

    • I only watched some of the first episode and it didn’t make that much of an impression on me, and because I haven’t watched an entire series I couldn’t comment on the show itself. From what I saw however, you could put any tall, thin, white British actor in place of Cumberbatch and it would still work. That’s my point, he’s overrated for what he does – essentially the same stern-faced character over and over with an accent change.

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